HEYNEKE MEYER has handed Cheetah’s fly-half Johan Goosen his first Test start, picking the former Baby Bok over an out-of-form Morne Steyn, against Australia in Pretoria on Saturday.
Etzebeth is back in the Springbok team after missing the previous Test due to suspension, and will pair up with Andries Bekker in the middle row.
On the bench there’s four changes with Coenie Oosthuizen returning from injury, Flip van der Merwe swapping places with Bekker, plus Jantjies and Taute.
“I’ve maintained from the outset that I won’t rush Johan, but I feel he is now ready to start a Test for South Africa and I’m excited to see what he can bring,” said Meyer.
“Morné (Steyn), in the last four seasons, has played close to 140 matches at Test, Vodacom Super Rugby and Absa Currie Cup level and probably deserves a break, but this also provides a great opportunity for Johan, a player I rate very highly.
“Morné is a quality player and a fighter and I know he will bounce back.”
Frans Steyn, who has been struggling with an ankle injury, has been bracketed with Taute in the midfield. Should Steyn not pass a fitness test by Friday, Taute will start and Juan de Jongh will come in on the bench.
South Africa v Australia
Saturday, 29th September 2012 at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 16:00 BST live on Sky Sports 2
15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Bryan Habana, 13. Jean de Villiers (C), 12. Frans Steyn/Jaco Taute, 11. Frans Hougaard, 10. Johan Goosen, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 1. Tendai Mtawarira, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 5. Andries Bekker, 6. Francois Louw, 7. Willem Alberts, 8. Duane Vermeulen
16. Tiaan Lebenberg, 17. Coenie Oosthuizen, 18. Flip van der Merwe, 19. Marcell Coetzee, 20. Elton Jantjies, 21. Jaco Taute/Juan de Jongh, 22 Pat Lambie